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Biden issues statement on helicopter crash in Texas

Fox News correspondent Jeff Paul has the details on President Biden’s reaction to a National Guard helicopter crash near the southern border in Texas on ‘Fox News Live.’

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Two New York National Guard members and a Border Patrol agent have been identified as the three people killed in a U.S. military helicopter crash in Texas along the U.S.-Mexico border. 

New York State Trooper John M. Grassia III and New York National Guard helicopter pilot Casey Frankoski had already been identified as among the deceased by local agencies on Saturday, while Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Sunday identified the third person killed in Friday’s crash as Border Patrol Agent Chris Luna. 

“We are devastated by the tragic death of Border Patrol Agent Chris Luna, a heroic public servant who lost his life Friday in a helicopter crash while on a Border Patrol mission in Texas. Two National Guardsmen were also killed, and one National Guardsman was seriously injured,” Mayorkas said. “Every single day, our Border Patrol Agents place themselves in harm’s way so that the rest of us can be safe and secure. My thoughts, and the deepest condolences of our Department, are with Agent Luna’s family, loved ones, and colleagues, and with those of the National Guardsmen who lost their lives. We hope for the injured servicemember’s swift recovery, and hold our National Guard colleagues and their families in our thoughts as well.”

Grassia, 30, was killed on Friday in a helicopter crash while flying over the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas serving with the National Guard, the New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association said in a Facebook post on Saturday, sending thoughts and prayers to Grassia’s family, friends and coworkers. 


“Trooper Grassia, who was dedicated to serving and protecting not only the citizens of New York State but also the citizens of the entire United States, will be remembered for his ultimate sacrifice,” the post said. “Trooper Grassia joined the New York State Police in April 2022 and was most recently assigned to Troop G. Funeral arrangements are pending.” 

Frankoski also “tragically lost her life in a helicopter crash on Friday while patrolling the US-Mexico border,” according to the mayor of Rensselaer, New York, located across the Hudson River opposite the state capital of Albany. 

New York National Guard members killed in Texas helicopter crash

New York State Trooper John M. Grassia III and New York National Guard pilot Casey Frankoski were among three killed in a U.S. military helicopter crash near the Mexico border. (New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association/ Troy Police Department)

“A proud native of Rensselaer and distinguished graduate of Columbia High School, Casey was not only an excellent student but also excelled in sports and community service before joining the New York National Guard,” Mayor Michael Stammel wrote. “Casey comes from a family deeply rooted in public service, and her legacy as an American hero resonates throughout our community. Casey’s father is retired Rensselaer Police Chief James Frankoski and a part of our Rensselaer family. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Frankoski family as we collectively mourn the loss of a beloved city native and dedicated patriot. Please keep all of the victims and families in your prayers.”

Rensselaer would be lowering its flags in Frankoski’s honor, the mayor said. 

“Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of Army National Guard helicopter pilots Casey Frankoski and John Grassia Jr, who tragically lost their lives in a helicopter crash over the border of Texas and Mexico on Friday during an operation,” the Troy Police Department in New York also wrote in a Facebook post. 

National Guard helicopter downed

A National Guard helicopter seen after crashing in La Grulla, Texas on Friday. (Fox News)

“On behalf of the Troy Police Department, we extend our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Casey Frankoski and John Grassia Jr during this difficult time. Their service and sacrifice will never be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this tragic event.” 

A UH-72 Lakota helicopter assigned to the federal Southwest border support mission crashed Friday afternoon while conducting aviation operations near Rio Grande City, Texas, according to a statement released by Joint Task Force North. The cause was under investigation.


Starr County Judge Eloy Vera, the county’s top official, said those on board included one woman and three men. He said the person who was injured was in critical condition. 

Gen. Daniel Hokanson, head of the National Guard Bureau, in a post on X, sent his condolences to the families, loved ones, friends and colleagues of the three people killed, and prayers for the injured soldier’s speedy recovery.

Authorities at helicopter crash site

Authorities in La Grulla, Texas, at the site of a National Guard helicopter crash. (Fox News)

“We mourn these heartbreaking deaths,” Hokanson’s post said. “They are a tragic loss beyond words. All of these people represent selfless service & the best of America.”


The site of the crash is in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. The Starr County Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook on Friday that it was assisting with a “downed helicopter incident” on the east side of the county. Vera said the scene had been secured by the sheriff’s office and that federal officials were on the way.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Danielle Wallace is a reporter for Fox News Digital covering politics, crime, police and more. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter: @danimwallace. 

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